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Google ends the year by increasing its domination of the search markets in both the UK and US.
In an industry where small fractions in market share can make a huge difference to income, knowing the latest search figures is essential. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, one company has more reason to smile than most in this regard.
Google’s global stranglehold may have suffered a few setbacks over the course of 2010, but in the UK and US markets it stands head and shoulders above all other competitors. In our first revisiting for six months, little has changed.
Here in the UK, the latest Hitwise figures indicate that Google has given away 0.87% of its total market share – with benefactors being YaBing. However, this does mean that they still have a 90.87% controlling stake in the total search figure.
Somewhat surprisingly, it is Yahoo and not Bing that has enjoyed the lion’s share of this search slippage. Whilst it may all be much of a muchness now that the YaBing merger has been concluded, Yahoo has managed to eke out a 0.66% increase since June 2010 whilst Bing only managed 0.14%.
Ask has dropped by 0.1%, but with the announcement that they are looking for another company to manage their search, this isn’t the biggest surprise [see: Digg, Ask, Cuil and Blekko: How to Compete in Monopolised Markets].
In the US Google has experienced significant growth over the past six months. Whilst this has traditionally been a far more competitive market, with Yahoo and Microsoft taking a fair slice of the search pie, Google has put on something of a growing spurt in 2010.
According to the latest comScore figures, the search giant now holds a 66.2% share of the market, which represents a 2.5% increase since June. The biggest loser – in distinct contrast to the UK Market – was Yahoo, surrendering 1.9% of its overall share (now 16.4%). AOL and Microsoft both dropped by 0.3% whilst Ask remained rock steady on 3.6%.
Therefore, despite huge investments in marketing and new initiatives in 2010, YaBing has actually lost some of its search market share in the last half of the year; presenting Google with an additional 2.2% of US traffic just in time for Christmas.
So in a year that promised big changes, the end result has been surprisingly predictable. Whilst both Bing and Yahoo saw decent early increases, neither has been able to maintain any sustained improvement. This is perfectly illustrated by comparing the latest figures to those in November 2009.
In this time Bing has seen a 1.9% increase in the US and 0.13% in the UK. However Yahoo has lost ground in both markets, experiencing a 1.6% drop-off over the pond and 2.3% here. Whilst this doesn’t mean that the number of unique searches has declined, in fact I would expect that these have risen significantly, it does indicate that Google is growing much faster – something that must be of concern to all competitors.
The size of the task facing YaBing is difficult to overstate. Despite Google stepping on a few toes in 2010 and introducing a number of features that received mixed reactions (such as instant search, home page images and the places update), it hasn’t just continued to dominate but has actually grown its search market share.
Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.
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